Cut the Root
OSHO books - Tantra: The Supreme Understanding

18 February 1975 am in Buddha Hall


Choice is bondage, choicelessness freedom. The moment you choose something, you have fallen
in the trap of the world. If you can resist the temptation to choose, if you can remain choicelessly
aware, the trap disappears on its own accord, because when you don’t choose you don’t help the
trap to be there – the trap is also created by your choice. So this word ”choice” has to be understood
very deeply, because only through that understanding can choicelessness flower in you.
Why can’t you remain without choosing? Why does it happen the moment you see a person or a
thing, immediately a subtle wave of choice has entered in you, even if you are not aware that you
have chosen? A woman passes by and you say she is beautiful. You are not saying anything about
your choice, but the choice has entered, for to say of a person that she is beautiful means: ”I would
like to choose her.” In fact, deep down you have chosen; you are already in the trap. The seed has
fallen to the soil; soon there will be sprouts, there will be a plant and a tree.

The moment you say, ”This car is beautiful,” choice has entered. You may not be aware at all that
you have chosen, that you would like to possess this car, but in the mind a fantasy has entered, a
desire has arisen. When you say something is beautiful, you mean that you would like to have it.
When you say something is ugly, you mean that you would not like to have it.
Choice is subtle and one has to be very minutely aware about it. Whenever you say something
remember this: that saying is not only saying, not a mere saying – something has happened in the
unconscious. Don’t make the distinction: this is beautiful and that is ugly, this is good and that is
bad. Don’t make the distinctions. Remain aloof! Things are neither bad nor good. The quality
of goodness and badness is introduced by you. Things are neither beautiful nor ugly; they are
simply there as they are – the quality of being beautiful and ugly is introduced by you, it is your
What do you mean when you say something is beautiful? Is there any criterion of beauty? Can you
prove it that it is beautiful? Just standing by your side, somebody may think, ”This is ugly!” – so it is
nothing objective; nobody can prove anything beautiful. Thousands and thousands of books have
been written on aesthetics, and it has been a long, arduous journey for intellectuals, thinkers and
philosophers to define what beauty is – they have not yet been able. They have written great books,
great treatises, they go round about and round about, but nobody has ever been able to pinpoint
what beauty is. No, it seems impossible – because there exists nothing like beauty or ugliness, it is
your interpretation.
First you make a thing beautiful. This is why I say that first you create the trap and then you fall into
it. First you think this face is beautiful – this is YOUR creation, this is just your imagination, this is
just your mind interpreting; this is not existential, this is just psychological – and then you yourself
fall into the trap. You dig the hole and then you fall into it and then you cry for help, and then you cry
for people to come to your salvation.
Nothing is needed says tantra. You simply see the whole trick – it is your own creation.
What do you mean that something is ugly? If man is not on the earth will there be ugliness and
beauty? Trees will be there, of course, and they will bloom; of course, rains will come, and summer
and seasons will follow one another – but there will be nothing like beautiful and ugly, it will disappear
with man and his mind. The sun will rise and in the night the sky will be filled with stars – but nothing
will be beautiful and nothing will be ugly. It was just man creating noise. Now he is no more there
the interpretations have disappeared; what will be good and what will be bad?
In nature nothing is good and nothing is bad. And remember, tantra is the loose and the natural
way. It wants to bring you to the deepest, most natural phenomena of life. It wants to help you drop
from the mind – and mind creates distinctions, and mind says this is to be chosen and that has to
be avoided. To this you cling, and that you avoid and escape from. Look at the whole phenomenon.
Just a look is needed, nothing else; no practice is needed – just a look at the whole situation.

The moon is beautiful; why? – because for centuries you have been indoctrinated that the moon is
beautiful. For centuries poets have been singing about the moon, for centuries people have believed
– now it has become engrained. Of course there are a few things which happen with the moon: it
is very soothing, you feel calmed down, and the light of the moon gives a mysterious aroma to the
whole nature; it gives a sort of hypnosis, you feel a little sleepy and awake and things look more
beautiful; it gives a dreamlike quality to the world – that’s why we call madmen, lunatics. The word
”lunatic” comes from the word ”luna,” the moon. They have gone mad, moonstruck.
The moon creates a sort of lunacy, a sort of madness, a neurosis. It may be concerned with the
water in your body – just like the sea is affected by the moon and tides come. Your body is ninety
percent sea water. If you ask the physiologists they will say that something must be happening in
the body because of the moon, because your body remains a part of the sea. Man has come from
the sea to the earth; basically life was born in the sea. When the whole sea is affected, of course
all sea animals are affected by the moon, they are part of the sea, and man has also come from the
sea. Very very long he has traveled, but it makes no difference; the body still reacts in the same
way. Ninety percent of your body is water, and not only water, sea water, with the same chemicals,
same saltiness.
In the womb the child swims for nine months, floats in sea water; the mother’s womb is filled with sea
water. That’s why when women are pregnant they start using, eating more salt. More salt is needed
for their womb, to keep the same balance of saltiness. And the child passes through all the phases
humanity has passed through. In the beginning he is just like a fish, he moves into the ocean of the
mother’s womb, floats. By and by, in nine months he passes millions of years. Physiologists have
come to realize that he passes through all the stages of life in nine months.
That may be, that the moon affects you, but there is nothing like beauty – it is a chemical
Certain eyes you feel are very beautiful. What is happening? Those eyes must have a quality, a
chemical quality, an electric quality in them, they must be releasing some energy – you become
affected by them. You say some eyes are hypnotic, like Adolf Hitler’s eyes. Just the moment he sees
you something happens in you. You say eyes are very beautiful. What do you mean by beauty? You
are affected.
In fact, when you say something is beautiful you are not saying that something is beautiful, you are
saying that you are affected in a nice way, that’s all. When you say something is ugly, you are saying
that you are affected in an antagonistic way. You are repelled or you are attracted. When you are
attracted it is beauty, when you are repelled it is ugly. But it is YOU, not the object, because the
same object can attract somebody else.
It happens every day; people are always amazed about other people. They say, ”That man has
fallen in love with that woman – amazing!” Nobody can believe that this can happen; that woman is
ugly. But to that man, that woman is the very incarnation of beauty. What to do? There can be no
objective criterion, there is none.
Tantra says: remember, whenever you choose something, whenever you decide for this or against
this, it is your mind playing tricks. Don’t say the thing is beautiful; just simply say, ”I am affected in a
nice way” – but the base remains ”I.” If once you transfer the whole phenomenon on the object, then
it can never be solved because from the first step you missed, you missed the root. The root is you,
so if you are affected it means your mind is affected in a certain way. And then that affection, that
being affected, creates the trap and you start moving.

First you create a beautiful man and then you start chasing him, then you run after him. And after a
few days living with a beautiful man or woman, all fantasies fall to the ground. Suddenly you become
aware, as if you have been deceived, that this woman looks ordinary. And you were thinking she
was a Laila or a Juliet, or you were thinking he is a Majnu or a Romeo, and suddenly, after a few
days, the dreams have evaporated and the woman has become ordinary, or the man has become
ordinary; then you feel disgusted, as if the other has deceived you.
Nobody has deceived and nothing has fallen from the man or woman; it is your own fantasy that
has fallen – because fantasies cannot be maintained. You can dream about them but you cannot
maintain them for a long time. Fantasies are fantasies! So if you really want to continue in your
fantasy, then when you see a beautiful woman, immediately escape from her as far as you can.
Then you will always remember her as the most beautiful woman in the world. Then the fantasy will
never come in contact with reality. Then there will be no shattering. You can always sigh and sing
and weep and cry for the beautiful woman – but never go near her!
The nearer you come, the more reality, the more objective reality, reveals itself. And when there is a
clash between objective reality and your fantasy, of course you know who is going to be defeated –
your fantasy. Objective reality cannot be defeated.
This is the situation. And tantra says become aware: nobody is deceiving you except yourself. The
woman was not trying to be very beautiful, she was not creating the fantasy around her, YOU created
it around her; you believed it, and now you are at a loss what to do, because the fantasy cannot be
continued against reality. A dream has to break – and that is the criterion.
Hindus in the East have made a criterion of truth: they say truth is that which lasts forever, forever,
forever; and untruth is that which lasts only for a moment. No other distinction is there. The
momentary is the untrue and the everlasting is the truth. And life is everlasting; existence is
everlasting. Mind is momentary – so whatsoever mind gives to life remains momentary; it is a
color that the mind gives to the life, it is an interpretation. By the time the interpretation is complete,
the mind has changed. You cannot maintain the interpretation because mind cannot be maintained
for two consecutive moments in the same situation in the same state. Mind goes on changing, mind
is a flux. It has already changed – by the time you realize that this man is beautiful, the mind has
already changed. Now you will be falling in love with something which is there no more, even in your
Tantra says: understand the mechanism of the mind and cut the root. Don’t choose, because when
you choose you get identified. Whatsoever you choose you become, in a certain way, one with it.
If you love a car, you become one with that car in a certain way. You come closer and closer, and if
the car is stolen, something of your being is stolen. If something goes wrong with the car, something
goes wrong with you. If you fall in love with a house you become one with the house. Love means
identification; coming so close, as if you put two wax candles closer, closer, closer, and put them
very close – they become one. The heat, the burning of the flame... by and by they become one.
This is identification. Two flames coming closer and closer and closer, they become one.

And when you are identified with something you have lost your soul. This is the meaning of losing
your soul in the world: you have become identified with millions of things, and with everything a part
of you has become a thing. Choice brings identification. Identification brings a hypnotic state of
Gurdjieff has only one thing to teach to his disciples and that is not to be identified. His whole school,
all his techniques, methods, situations, are based on one single base, and that base is: not to be
You are crying; when you are crying, you have become one with the crying. There is nobody to
watch it, there is nobody to see it; be alert and aware of it – you are lost in crying. You have become
the tears and the red, swollen eyes and your heart is in a crisis. Teachers like Gurdjieff, when they
say not to be identified, they say, ”Cry, nothing is wrong in it, but stand by the side and look at it –
don’t be identified.” And it is a wonderful experience if you can stand by the side. Cry, let the body
cry, let the tears flow, don’t suppress it because suppression helps nobody, but stand by the side
and watch.
This can be done – because your inner being is a witness, it is never a doer. Whenever you think
it is a doer there is an identification. It is never a doer. You can walk the whole earth – your inner
being never walks a single step. You can dream millions of dreams – your inner being never dreams
a single dream. All movements are on the surface. Deep in the depth of your being there is no
movement. All movements are on the periphery, just like a wheel moves, but at the center nothing
moves. At that center everything remains as it is, and on the center the wheel moves.
Remember the center! Watch your behavior, your actions, your identifications, and a distance is
created; by and by a distance comes into existence – the watcher and the doer become two. You
can see yourself laughing, you can see yourself crying, you can see yourself walking, eating, making
love; you can act many things, whatsoever is going on around – and you remain the seer. You don’t
jump and become one with whatsoever you are seeing.
This is the trouble. Whatsoever happens you start saying: you are hungry, you say, ”I am hungry”
– you have become identified with the hunger. But just look inside; are you hunger, or is hunger
happening to you? Are you hunger or are you simply aware of the hunger happening in the body?
You cannot be hunger; otherwise, when the hunger has disappeared, where will you be? When
you have eaten well and the belly is full and you are satiated, where will you be if you are hunger?
Evaporated? No, then immediately you become the satiety. Before the hunger disappears a new
identification has to be created; you become the satiety.
You were a child and you thought you were a child; now where are you because you are no more a
child? You have become a young man or you have become old – who are you now? Again you are
identified with youth or old age.
The innermost being is just like a mirror. Whatsoever comes before it, it mirrors, it simply becomes
a witness. Disease comes or health, hunger or satiety, summer or winter, childhood or old age, birth
or death – whatsoever happens, happens before the mirror, it never happens TO the mirror.
This is nonidentification, this is cutting the root, the very root – to become a mirror. And to me
this is sannyas: to become like a mirror. Don’t become like a very sensitive photoplate – that is
identification. Whatsoever comes before the lens of the camera, the photoplate immediately takes
it in, becomes one with it. Become like a mirror. Things come and pass and the mirror remains
vacant, empty, void.

This is the no-self of Tilopa. The mirror has no self to be identified with. It simply reflects. It does
not react, it simply responds. It doesn’t say, ”This is beautiful, that is ugly.” An ugly woman stands
before it, the mirror is as happy as when a beautiful woman stands before it. It makes no difference.
It reflects whatsoever is the case but it doesn’t interpret. It doesn’t say, ”Go away, you disturb me
very much,” or ”Come a little closer, you are so beautiful.” The mirror says nothing. The mirror simply
watches without any distinction, friend or foe. The mirror has no distinctions to make.
And when somebody passes, goes away from the mirror, the mirror doesn’t cling to it. The mirror
has no past. It is not that you have passed and the mirror will cling a little to your phantom. It is
not that the mirror will cling to your shadow a little while. It is not that the mirror will try to retain
the reflection that has happened in it. No. You have passed, the reflection has gone; not even for a
single second the mirror retains it. This is the mind of a buddha. You come before it, he is filled with
you; you go away, you have gone. Not even a memory flashes. A mirror has no past, neither has a
buddha. A mirror has no future, neither has a buddha. The mirror doesn’t wait: ”Now who is coming
before me; now who am I going to reflect? I would like this person to come and not like that person.”
The mirror has no choice, he remains choiceless.
Try to understand this metaphor of the mirror because this is the real situation of the inner
consciousness. Don’t get identified by things that are happening around you. You remain centered...
remain centered and rooted in your being. Things are happening and they will continue to happen,
but if YOU can be centered in your mirror-like consciousness, nothing will be the same – the
whole has changed. You remain virgin, innocent, pure. Nothing can become an impurity to you,
absolutely nothing because nothing is retained. You reflect, for a moment somebody is there and
then everything is gone. Your emptiness is untouched. Even while a mirror is reflecting somebody,
there is nothing happening to the mirror. The mirror is not changing in any way; the mirror remains
the same. This is cutting the very root.
There are two types of people. One, who go on fighting with the symptoms, who go on fighting, not
with the root cause, but just with the symptoms of the disease. For example, you have a fever, a
one-hundred-and-five degrees fever. You can do one thing: you can go and take a good shower, a
cold shower; that will cool down the body, that will bring the fever low – but you are fighting with the
symptom because the temperature is not the disease. A temperature is simply an indication that
something has gone wrong in the body. The body is in a turmoil, that’s why the temperature has
gone high. The body is in a crisis. Inside the body something like a war is going on. Some germs
are fighting with other germs, that’s why the temperature has gone high. You are feeling hot – this
heat is not the problem, this heat is just a symptom. This heat is very very friendly to you, this heat
simply shows you: Do something, inside there is a crisis – and if you treat the symptom you will kill
the patient. Putting ice on his head won’t do. Giving him a cold shower won’t help. It is destructive,
because it will give a false coolness on the surface. But how, just by giving a cold shower, can you
hope that the inner turmoil and the inner fight in the germs will stop? – they will continue and they
will kill you.

The fool is always treating the symptoms. The wise man looks to the root, to the very cause. He
doesn’t try to cool down the body, he tries to change the root cause of why the body is becoming
hot. And when that root is changed, the cause is changed, the cause is treated, the temperature
comes down by itself. Temperature is not the problem. But in life there are more fools than wise
men. In medicine we have become wiser but in life, still not.
In life we go on doing foolish things. If you are angry you start fighting with the anger. Anger is
nothing but a temperature; it is exactly a temperature, it is a fever. If you are really angry your body
becomes hot, but that only shows that in your bloodstream some chemicals are being released. But
that too is not the root either. Those chemicals are released for a certain reason – because you
have created a situation in which either you will have to fight or take flight.
When an animal is in a situation of danger he has two choices: one choice is to fight, another choice
is to escape. For both these choices certain poisons are needed in the blood, because when you
fight you will need more energy than ordinarily. When you fight you will need more blood circulating
than ordinarily. When you fight you will need emergency sources of energy to work, to function – the
body has emergency sources. It collects poisons, hormones, many things in the glands; when the
time comes and the need is there it releases them into the bloodstream.
That’s why when you are angry you become almost three times more powerful than you are
ordinarily. If your anger can be created, you can do many things you can never do ordinarily: you can
throw a big rock – ordinarily you cannot even move it. In fight it will be needed – nature provides. Or
if you have to escape and run away, then too energy will be needed because the enemy will chase
you, follow you.
Everything has changed – man has created a civilization, a society, a culture, where animal
situations no longer exist – but deep inside the mechanism remains the same. Whenever you are in
a situation when you feel somebody is going to be aggressive to you, somebody is going to hit you,
insult you, do some harm, immediately the body comes into the situation: it releases poisons in the
bloodstream, your temperature rises high, your eyes become red, your face is more filled with blood
– you are ready to fight or take flight.
This too is not the deepest thing because this too is just a help from the body. Anger on the face,
anger in the body, are not real things; they follow your mind, they follow your interpretation. It can be
that there was nothing. In a lonely street on a dark night, you pass, you see a lamp-post, you think it
is a ghost – immediately the body has released something in the bloodstream, the body is preparing
to fight the ghost or escape. Your mind interpreted the lamp-post as a ghost – immediately the body
follows. You think somebody is your enemy, the body follows. You think somebody is a friend, the
body follows.
So the root cause is in the mind, it is in your interpretation. Buddha says, ”Think that the whole
earth is your friend.” Why? Jesus says, ”Even forgive your enemies”; not only that, ”even love your
enemies.” Why? Buddha and Jesus are trying to change your interpretations, but Tilopa goes still
higher. He says: Even if you think that all are your friends, you continue to think in terms of friendship
and enmity. Even if you love the enemy you think that he is the enemy. You love because Jesus
has said. Of course, you will be in a better situation than an ordinary man who hates the enemy,
less anger will happen to you. But Tilopa says to THINK that someone is an enemy, to think that
someone is a friend, is to divide – you have already fallen into the trap. Nobody is a friend and
nobody is an enemy. This is the highest teaching.

Sometimes Tilopa surpasses even Buddha and Jesus. Maybe the reason is that Buddha was talking
to the masses and Tilopa is talking to Naropa. When you talk to a very developed disciple, you can
bring the highest down. When you talk to the masses you have to make compromises. I was talking
to the masses for fifteen years continuously, then by and by I felt I have to drop it. I was talking to
thousands of people. But when you talk to twenty thousand people you have to compromise, you
have to come down; otherwise it will be impossible for them to understand. Seeing this I dropped it.
Now I like to talk only to Naropas. And you may not be aware, even if a single new person comes
here and I am not aware that a new person is there, he changes the whole atmosphere. He brings
you down and suddenly I feel that I have to make a compromise.
The higher you go, the higher your energy, the higher teaching can be delivered to you. And a
moment comes when Naropa becomes perfect – Tilopa becomes silent. Then there is no need to
say anything, because even saying is a compromise. Then silence suffices, then silence is enough;
then just sitting together is enough. Then the master sits with the disciple, they don’t do anything,
they just remain together – and then only the highest glimpse happens.
So it depends on the disciples. It will depend on you, how much you can allow me to bring to you.
It is not only for your own understanding – of course, that is there – but it will depend on you how
much I can bring to the earth because it is going to come through you.
Jesus has very ordinary disciples in that way, very ordinary, because he is starting a thing and he
has to make compromises – with foolish things. Jesus is going to be caught in the night and the
disciples are asking, ”Master, tell us: in the Kingdom of God you will, of course, be sitting to the right
of God, on the right side of the throne – but we twelve, what will be our hierarchical situation? How
will we be sitting? Who will be sitting by the side of you? and who next?” Jesus is going to die and
these foolish disciples are asking something absurd. And they are worried in the Kingdom of God
what will be the hierarchy, who will be next to Jesus. Of course, Jesus... they can see that much,
that Jesus will be next to God, but then who will be next to Jesus?
Foolish egos. And Jesus has to compromise with these people. That’s why Jesus’ teachings could
not go to that height where Buddha can go easily because he is not talking to such foolish people;
never in his life has a single person asked such a foolish thing. But nothing to compare with Tilopa....
He never talked to the masses. He searched for a single man, a single developed soul, Naropa, and
said, ”Because of you, Naropa... I will tell you things which cannot be told; because of you and your
trust, I have to.” That’s why the teaching has gone, taken a flight to the very farthest corner of the

Now try to understand the sutra:
”CUT THE ROOTS OF A TREE AND THE LEAVES WILL WITHER.” But people ordinarily try to cut
off the leaves. That is not the way; the root cannot wither that way. On the contrary, if you cut off the
leaves, more leaves will come into the tree; you cut off one leaf, three will come, because by your
cutting off the leaves, the roots become more active to protect. So every gardener knows how to
make a tree dense and thick – you just go on pruning. It will become thicker and thicker and thicker,
because you give a challenge to the roots: you cut off one leaf, the roots will send three to protect
the body of the tree, because leaves are the body surface of the tree.
Leaves are not just there for your enjoyment, to see and for you to sit under the shade; no, leaves are
the tree’s body surface. Through leaves the tree absorbs sunrays, through leaves the tree releases
vapors, through leaves the tree is in contact with the cosmos. The leaves are the skin of the tree.
You cut off one leaf and the roots take the challenge: they send three instead; they become more
alert, they cannot remain sleepy. Somebody is trying to destroy them and they have to protect – and
the same happens in life also, because life is also a tree.
Roots and leaves are there. If you cut anger, three leaves will come instead; you will be thrice angry.
If you cut sex, you will become abnormally obsessed with sex. Cut anything and watch and you will
see that thrice is happening to you. And then the mind will say, ”Cut more, this is not enough!” Then
you cut more and then more comes of it – then you are in a vicious circle. The mind will go on, ”Cut
more, it is still not enough.” That’s why so many leaves are coming. You can cut all the branches, it
will make no difference because the tree exists in the root, not in the leaves.
Identification is the root and everything else is nothing but leaves. Being identified with greed, being
identified with anger, being identified with sex, is the root. And remember, it is the same whether you
are identified with greed, or sex, or even meditation. Love, MOKSHA, God – it makes no difference,
it is the same identification. Being identified is the root, and all else is just like leaves. Don’t cut the
leaves, leave them, nothing is wrong in them.
That’s why tantra does not believe in improving your character. It may give you a good shape – if
you prune a tree you can make any shape out of it – but the tree remains the same. Character is
just an outer shape – but you remain the same, no transmutation happens. Tantra goes deeper and
says, ”Cut the root!” That’s why tantra was misunderstood too much, because tantra says, ”If you
are greedy, be greedy; don’t bother about greed. If you are sexual, be sexual; don’t bother about it
at all.” The society cannot tolerate such a teaching: ”What are these people saying? They will create
chaos. They will destroy the whole order.” But they have not understood that only tantra changes
the society, the man, the mind, nothing else; and only tantra brings a real order, a natural order, a
natural flowering of the inner discipline, nothing else. But it is a very deep process – you have to cut
the root.
Watch greed, watch sex, watch anger, possessiveness, jealousy. One thing has to be remembered:
you don’t get identified, you simply watch; you simply look, you become a spectator. By and by, the
quality of witnessing grows; you become able to see all the nuances of greed. It is very subtle. You
become capable of seeing how subtly the ego functions, how subtle are its ways. It is not a gross
thing; it is very subtle and delicate and deep-hidden.
The more you watch, the more your eyes become capable of seeing, become more perceptive,
the more you see and deeper you can move, and the more distance is created between you and
whatsoever you do. Distance helps because without distance there can be no perception. How
can you see a thing which is too close? If you are standing too close to a mirror, you cannot see
your reflection. If your eyes are touching the mirror, how can you see? A distance is needed – and
nothing can give you a distance except witnessing. You try it and see.

Move into sex; nothing is wrong in it, but remain a watcher. Watch all the movements of the body;
watch the energy flowing in and out, watch how the energy is falling downwards; watch the orgasm,
what is happening – how two bodies move in a rhythm. Watch the heartbeat – faster and faster it
goes, a moment comes when it is almost mad. Watch the warmth of the body; the blood circulates
more. Watch the breathing; it is going mad and chaotic. Watch the moment when a limit comes to
your voluntariness and everything becomes involuntary. Watch the moment from where you could
have come back, but beyond that there is no return. The body becomes so automatic all control is
lost. Just a moment before the ejaculation you lose all control, the body takes over.
Watch it: the voluntary processes, the nonvoluntary process. The moment when you were in control
and you could have gone back, the return was possible, and the moment when you cannot come
back, the return has become impossible – now the body has taken over completely, you are no more
in control. Watch everything – and millions of things are there. Everything is so complex and nothing
is as complex as sex, because the whole bodymind is involved – only the witness is not involved,
only one thing remains always outside.
The witness is an outsider. By its very nature the witness can never become an insider. Find out
this witness and then you are standing on a top of the hill, and everything goes in the valley and you
are not concerned. You simply see; what is your concern? It is as if it is happening to somebody
else. And it is the same with greed and it is the same with anger; everything is very complex. And
you will enjoy it if you can watch – negative, positive, all the emotions. You simply remember one
thing, that you have to be a watcher; then the identification is broken, then the root is cut. And once
the root is cut, once you think you are not the doer, everything suddenly changes. And the change
is sudden, there is no gradualness to it.
The moment you cut the root of the mind, the identification with it, the samsara falls; the whole world
falls like a house of cards. Just a small wind of awareness and the whole house falls. Suddenly you
are here, but no more in the world – you have transcended. You can live just the old way, doing the
old things – but nothing is old, because you are no longer the old. You are a perfectly new being
– this is rebirth. Hindus call it DWIJ, twice-born. A man who has attained to this is twice-born,
this is a second birth – and this is the birth of the soul. This is what Jesus means by resurrection.
Resurrection is not the rebirth of the body; it is a new birth of consciousness.
So don’t be worried about how a sudden light will dispel the darkness of many, many millions of
lives. It dispels it because darkness has no density to it, darkness has no substance to it. Whether
one moment old or many thousands of years old, it is the same. Absence cannot grow more or less,
absence remains the same. Light is substantial, it is something – darkness is just an absence. The
light is there and darkness is there no more.

It is not that the darkness is dispelled really, because there was nothing to be dispelled. It is not
that when you burn the light, the darkness goes out – there was nothing to go out. In fact there was
nothing, just the absence of light. Light comes and darkness is not.
Buddhists use ”mind” in two senses: mind with a small ”m” and Mind with a capital ”M.” When they
use Mind with a capital ”M,” they mean the witness, consciousness. When they use mind with a
small ”m” they mean the witnessed. And both are mind – that’s why they use the same word for both
– with just a small difference, with a capital ”M.” With a capital ”M” you are the witness and with a
small ”m” you are the witnessed – thoughts, emotions, anger, greed, everything.
Why use the same word? Why create confusion? There is a reason for it – because when the Mind
with a capital ”M” arises, the mind with the small ”m” is simply absorbed in it. As rivers fall into the
ocean, the millions of minds around the great Mind all fall into it, the energy is reabsorbed.
Greed, anger, jealousy – they were energies moving outwards, centrifugally. Suddenly when the
Mind with capital ”M” arises, the witness sits there silently watching and all the rivers change their
course. They were going centrifugally towards the periphery; suddenly they turn back, they become
centrifugal; they start falling into the great Mind – everything is absorbed. That’s why the same word
is used.
Just in a single moment all ignorance is burned – this is sudden enlightenment.
If you cling to the mind, thoughts, emotions, then you will not be able to see that which is beyond the
mind – the great Mind – because if you cling, how can you see it? If you cling, your eyes are closed
by your clinging. And if you cling to the object, how can you see the subject? This ”clinging-ness”
has to be dropped.
All practice is of the mind. Whatsoever you do is of the mind. Only witnessing is not of the mind,
remember this.
So, even while you are doing meditation, remain a witness, continuously see what is happening. You
are whirling in a dervish meditation? – whirl, whirl as fast as you can, but remain a witness inside
and go on seeing that the body is whirling. The body goes on, faster and faster and faster, and the
faster the body goes, the deeper you feel that your center is not moving. You are standing still, the
body moves like a wheel, you stand still just in the middle of it. The faster the body goes, the deeper
you realize the fact that you are not moving, and the distance is created.

Whatsoever you are doing, even meditation – I make no exception – don’t cling to meditation either,
because a day has to come when even that clinging has to be dropped. Meditation becomes perfect
when it too is dropped. When there is perfect meditation, you need not meditate.
So keep it constantly in your awareness that meditation is just a bridge; it has to be passed over.
A bridge is not a place to make your house. You have to pass it and go beyond it. Meditation is a
bridge; you have to be watchful about it also, otherwise you may stop being identified with anger,
greed, and you may start being identified with meditation, compassion. Then you are in the same
trap again; through another door you have entered the same house.
It happened once: Mulla Nasruddin came to the town bar and he was already too drunk, so the
barkeeper told him, ”You go away! You are already drunk and I cannot give you any more. You just
go back to your house.” But he was insisting, so the barkeeper had to throw him out.
He walked a long distance in search of another bar. Then he came to the same bar from another
door, entered, looked at the man with a little suspicion because he looked familiar. The barman said,
”I have told you once and forever that tonight I am not going to give you anything. You get away from
here!” Mulla was insisting again, he was thrown out again.
He walked a long distance in search of another bar, but in that town there was only one bar. Again,
from the third door, he entered, looked at the man, who looked so familiar. Mulla said, ”What is the
matter? Do you own all the bars in the town?”
This happens. You are thrown out from one door; you enter from another door. You were identified
with your anger, your lust; now you become identified with your meditation. You were identified with
your sexual pleasure; now you become identified with the ecstasy that meditation gives. Nothing is
different – the town has only one bar. Don’t try to enter the same bar again and again. And from
WHEREVER you enter you will find the same owner – that is the witness. Be mindful of it, otherwise
much energy is unnecessarily wasted. Long distances you travel to enter into the same thing again.
What is beyond the mind? You. What is beyond the mind? Consciousness. What is beyond the
mind? SAT-CHIT-ANAND – truth, consciousness, bliss.
And whatsoever you practice, remember, practice cannot lead you to the natural, the loose and the
natural, because practice means practicing something which is not there. Practicing means always
practicing something artificial. Nature has not to be practiced; there is no need, it is already there.
You learn something which is not there. How can you learn something which is already there? How
can you learn nature, tao? It is already there! You are born in it. There is no need to find any teacher
so that you can be taught – and that is the difference between a teacher and a master.
A teacher is one who teaches you something, a master is one who helps you to unlearn all that
you have already learned. A master is to help you unlearn. A master is to give you the taste of the
nonpracticed. It is already there; through your learning you have lost it. Through your unlearning
you will regain it.

Truth is not a discovery, it is a rediscovery. It was already there in the first place. When you came
into this world it was with you, when you were born into this life it was with you, because you ARE
it. It cannot be otherwise. It is not something external, it is intrinsic in you, it is your very being. So if
you practice, says Tilopa, you will not know that which is beyond practice.
Remind yourself again and again, that whatsoever you practice will be a part of the mind, the small
mind, the outer periphery, and you have to go beyond it. How to go beyond it? Practice, nothing is
wrong in it, but be alert; meditate, but be alert – because in the final meaning of the term, meditation
IS witnessing.
All techniques can be helpful but they are not exactly meditation, they are just a groping in the
dark. Suddenly one day, doing something, you will become a witness. Doing a meditation like the
dynamic, or KUNDALINI or whirling, suddenly one day the meditation will go on but you will not be
identified. You will sit silently behind, you will watch it – that day meditation has happened; that day
technique is no more a hindrance, no more a help. You can enjoy it if you like, like an exercise, it
gives a certain vitality, but there is no need now – the real meditation has happened.
Meditation is witnessing. To meditate means to become a witness. Meditation is not a technique at
all. This will be very confusing to you because I go on giving you techniques. In the ultimate sense
meditation is not a technique; meditation is an understanding, awareness. But you need techniques
because that final understanding is very far away from you; deep hidden in you, but still very far
away from you. Right this moment you can attain it, but you will not attain it, because your moment
goes on, your mind goes on. THIS very moment it is possible and yet impossible. Techniques will
bridge the gap, they are just to bridge the gap.
So in the beginning techniques are meditations; in the end you will laugh, techniques are not
meditation. Meditation is a totally different quality of being, it has nothing to do with anything. But it
will happen only in the end; don’t think it has happened in the beginning, otherwise the gap will not
be bridged.
This is the problem with Krishnamurti, and this is the problem with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – they are
the two opposite poles. Mahesh Yogi thinks that technique is meditation, so once you are attuned to
a technique – Transcendental Meditation or any other – the meditation has happened. This is right
and wrong. Right, because in the beginning a beginner has to attune himself to some technique,
because his understanding is not ripe enough to understand the ultimate. So approximately... a
technique is approximately a meditation.
It is just like a small child learning the alphabet – so we tell the child that ”m” is the same letter as
when you use ”monkey,” the monkey represents ”m.” With the ”m” the monkey is there, the child starts
learning. There is no relationship between monkey and ”m.” ”M” can be represented by millions of
things, and still it is different from everything. But a child has to be shown something. Monkey is
nearer the child; he can understand the monkey, not ”m.” Through the monkey he will be able to
understand ”m” – but this is just a beginning, not the end.

Mahesh Yogi is right in the beginning, to push you on the path, but if you are stuck with him you are
lost. He has to be left, he is a primary school; good as far as it goes, but one need not always remain
in the primary school. The primary school is not the university, and the primary school is not the
universe; one has to pass from there. It is a primary understanding that meditation is a technique.
Then there is Krishnamurti at the other pole. He says there are no techniques, no meditations, but
choiceless awareness. Perfectly right! – but he is trying to help you enter into the university without
the primary school. He can be dangerous because he is talking about the ultimate. You cannot
understand it; right now in your understanding it is not possible – you will go mad. Once you listen
to Krishnamurti you will be lost, because you will always intellectually understand he is right, and in
your being you will know that nothing is happening.
Many Krishnamurti followers have come to me. They say intellectually they understand: ”Of course
it is right, there is no technique and meditation is awareness – but what to do?” And I tell them, ”The
moment you ask what to do, it means you need a technique. ’What to do?’ You ask HOW to do it,
you are asking for a technique. Krishnamurti will not help you. Rather, go to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
– that will be better.” But people are stuck with Krishnamurti and there are people who are stuck with
Mahesh Yogi.
I am neither – or I am both; and then I am very confusing. They are both clear, their standpoints
are simple; there is no complexity in understanding Mahesh Yogi or Krishnamurti. If you understand
language, you can understand them, there is no problem. The problem will arise with me because I
will always talk about the beginning and will never allow you to forget the end. I will always talk about
the end and always help you to start from the beginning. You will be confused because you will say,
”What do you mean? If meditation is simply awareness then why go through so many exercises?”
You have to go through them; only then will that meditation help you... that will happen to you which
is simple understanding.
Or you say, ”If techniques are all, then why do you go on saying again and again that techniques
have to be left, dropped?” ... Because then you feel: ”Something learned so deeply, with so much
effort and arduous labor has to be left again?” You would like to cling to the beginning. I will not
allow you. Once you are on the path I will go on pushing you to the very end.
This is a problem; with me this problem has to be faced, encountered and understood. I will look
contradictory. I am; I am a paradox – because I am trying to give you both the beginning and the
end, the first step and the last. Tilopa is talking of the ultimate. He is saying:
That’s what I am calling witnessing: stare naked. Just staring naked will do, the root is cut. This
staring naked becomes like a sharp sword.
Loose, natural, staring naked within yourself – that is the final word.

But go slowly, because mind is a very delicate mechanism. If you are in too much of a hurry and
you take too big a dose of a Tilopa, you may not be able to absorb and digest it. Go slowly; take
proportions only which you can digest and absorb.
Even I am here, I will be saying many things because you are many, and I will be taking many
dimensions because you are many. But you absorb only that which is a nourishment to you; you
Just the other day a sannyasin came, a sincere seeker, but puzzled because I talked about yoga
and tantra, and said that tantra is the higher teaching and yoga is a lower teaching, and he has been
practicing hatha yoga for two years and feeling good. He became puzzled what to do. Don’t get so
easily puzzled. If you are feeling good with yoga, follow your own natural inclination. Don’t allow me
to confuse you.
I can be confusing to you; you simply follow your natural inclination – loose, natural. If it is good, it
is good for you. Why bother whether it is higher or lower? Let it be lower. The ego comes in; the
ego says, ”If it is a lower thing, then why follow?” That will not help. Follow it; it is right for you. Even
if it is lower what is wrong in it? A moment will come when through the lower you will reach to the
The staircase has two ends: on one end it is the lowest, on another end it is the highest. So tantra
and yoga are not opposites – complementary. Yoga is the primary, the basic, from where you have
to start. But then one should not cling. A moment comes when one has to transcend yoga and
move into tantra; and finally you have to leave the whole staircase – yoga and tantra both. Alone in
yourself, deep in rest, one forgets everything.
Look at me: I am neither a yogi nor a tantric. I do nothing – no practice, no nonpractice. I cling
to neither method nor to no-method. I am simply here resting, not doing anything. The staircase
doesn’t exist for me now, the path has disappeared; there is no movement, it is absolute rest. When
one comes home there is nothing to do; one simply forgets everything and rests – God is ultimate
Remember this, because sometimes I will be talking of tantra because there are many who will be
helped through it; and sometimes I will be talking about yoga, and there are many who will be helped
by it. You just think of your own inclination, your own feeling – follow it. I am here to help you to be
yourself, not to distract you. But I have to talk about many things because I have to help many. So
what will you do? You just go on listening to me. Whatsoever you find nourishing, you digest it; chew
it well, digest it; let it become your blood and bones, the very marrow of your bones – but follow your
And when I talk about tantra I am so absorbed with it, because that’s how I am; I cannot be partial,
I am total whatsoever I do. If I am talking about tantra, I am totally in it; then nothing matters, only
tantra matters. That may give you a false impression. I am not talking comparatively – nothing
matters to me. Tantra is the highest, ultimate flower. This is because if I look totally at it, it is. When
I am talking about yoga the same will happen again, because I am total. This has nothing to do with
tantra or yoga – it is my totality that I bring to anything. When I bring it to yoga and Patanjali, I will
be again saying that this is the last.

So don’t be distracted; always remember this is MY totality and my quality that I bring to it. If you can
remember that, you will be helped. Even through my paradoxical being you will not be confused.